Spoon up a Bowl of Comfort in Atlanta during National Soup Month!
What better way is there to chase away the brisk cold than with a comforting bowl of soup? January is celebrated as National Soup Month. Whether you are partial to a simmering stew or a spicy broth, Atlanta restaurants are ladling rich bowls to chase away the cold.
Spicy Tomato Bisque, Irby's Tavern
There’s a lot of history behind this location. Read the menu and you’ll learn how Buckhead was named nearby, where Irby’s Tavern and grocery stood in the 1800’s. This new Irby’s aims to be a similar community watering hole with elevated pub fare. Chef Suzanne Vizethann’s pairs her self-described dank grilled cheese of oozing cheddar, Brie, and pepper jelly sandwiched between thick Texas toast with spicy tomato bisque. Chive oil and crisp bits of bacon finish the garnish.
322 E. Paces Ferry Rd. NE. Buckhead. 404-254-1333. Irbystavern.com.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup, #RootBakingCompany
Atlanta sure got lucky when Chris Watkins and Nicole Lewis uprooted their Charleston bakery and set up shop at Ponce City Market. To match the house-milled Southern heirloom grains in their impressive loaves and bread bowls is chef Matthew Palmerlee’s soup prowess. It’s a basin of absolute velvety savoriness, enhanced by roasted florets of broccoli and a Middle Eastern sprinkling of sumac, espelette pepper, and za átar. Get a molasses ginger cookie to go, while you are at it.
675 Ponce de Leon Ave. Atlanta. 404-639-8046. Rootbaking.com.
Vidalia Onion Soup, Tiny Lou's
It may have roots in a French recipe, but Jeb Aldrich’s version substitutes chicken broth for beef, adds Blue Ridge apples, and uses Georgia’s prized Vidalia onions. A light brulee of Gruyere is just enough over the soufflé like softness of the blend. An elegant version, it has all the homey flavor of a French onion soup without the struggle of onions and stringy cheese. Scoop it with toasted sourdough as a spoon substitute.
789 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE. Atlanta. 470-485-0085. Tinylous.com.
Butternut Squash Soup at Watchman's Seafood & Spirits
This rustic soup swirls with the velvety richness of butternut squash. Chef Daniel Chance adds large chunks of lump crab and summons the earthiness of toasted nuts and spices with Egyptian Dukkah. Pretty dots of fennel oil hint of the hope of springtime flavors soon to come.
99 Krog St. Inman Park. 404-254-0141. Watchmansatl.com.
Sunchoke Soup at Empire State South
Chef Adam Waller shows off his culinary technique in a bowl of sunchoke soup as cauliflower, sage and a brown butter scallop dance together with the creamy nuttiness of Jerusalem artichoke. Pair it with an apple fresh chenin blanc. Wine Director Steven Grubbs’ list will guide you.
999 Peachtree St. Midtown. 404-541-1105. Empirestatesouth.com
Celery Root Soup, Aria Restaurant
This soup remains an Atlanta classic for more reason than one. From the gnarly clod that is celery root, chef Gerry Klaskala conjures the luscious and creamy flavor of celery meets parsley. And he does this without the use of cream. Instead he slowly cooks leeks with chicken stock for richness. A decadent finish of shaved black truffle is both an adornment and flavor enhancement.
490 E. Paced Ferry Rd. NE. Buckhead. 404-233-7673. Aria-atl.com.
Matzoh Ball Soup, The General Muir
Sometimes you just need homey comfort. This soup is all about the schmaltz. Rendered chicken fat binds the airy and fluffy dumpling and adds an irresistible essence to the glistening broth. Chef Todd Ginsberg’s broth is at the same time light and hearty.
1540 Avenue Place. Emory Point. 678-927-9131. thegeneralmuir.com.
Brunswick Stew, Brick Store Pub
It’s thick, chunky, and a wee bit spicy and comes with hefty slices of toasted bread for dipping. It’s one of those stick-to-your-ribs kind of dishes that warms to the toes. And there is not a bigger beer selection in town than the leather menu at Brick Store.
125 E. Court Square. Decatur. 404-687-0990. brickstorepub.com.
PHOTOS: Spicy Tomato Soup from Irby's Tavern (Henri Hollis) and Root Baking Company.